Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray (D) says he will not seek the state's top job in 2014, a somewhat surprising decision that could open up the Democratic primary.

Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has said he won't seek a third term in 2014 and had made clear that Murray was his candidate of choice.

More from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette:

“I've decided that I am not going to run for governor,” the former Worcester mayor told the Telegram & Gazette this morning, ending speculation among many and hope among his supporters that he would try to succeed Gov. Deval L. Patrick next year.

“It really comes down to a family decision, and that is where I need to focus,” Mr. Murray said. He did not rule out future runs for political office.
He said controversies over a car accident on Interstate 190 in December 2010 and his previous political involvement with Michael E. McLaughlin, the disgraced former director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, played no role in his decision.
Mr. Murray's decision is expected to create a wide-pen (sic) field for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. Besides Mr. Murray, state Treasurer Steven Grossman has also been viewed as a potential candidate.